tv Politicking With Larry King RT October 12, 2017 11:30pm-12:01am EDT
that has sold its soul for corporate money that we might as well be squeaky against and. that's we lost. one on one with commentator host best selling author tavis smiley his take on the n.f.l. kneeling controversy donald trump race relations in america it's all next on this edition of politic. politicking on larry king it's a return visit from my guests than my friend tavis smiley you know him from his award winning p.b.s. talk show that bears his name he's also a bestselling author and was named to the times list of the hundred most influential people in the world is latest project is extraordinary three absent production of his twenty fourteen bestseller death of the king we'll talk about
that in a bit waltzes so you clip thanks for coming back good to see my friend how are you . well and you i'm trying to try to make sense of all the madness in the world that we live but i will get you going to do a big tour next year we are excited about this next year we'll talk about it later i suspect that next year is the fiftieth anniversary of king's assassination as you know you were around king and then kennedy bobby kennedy later that same year so sixty eight was a major year of tom walt in this country and you've as you've heard people say and ask a thousand times how different model america be if king and katie both katie's not been assassinated so next year we'll get a chance to confront that question where he is america fifty years after the death of king and kennedy so it is a fair question to start as anything change the more things change the more they stay the same i think it's hard to imagine for some people that we could be living in this era of donald trump right after eight years of barack obama's like the country took one giant leap forward into a three step. backwards so i think it's hard to kind of for some people to kind of
juxtapose that reality the best i've been able to do larry is simply this that in america that really is our history we take a step forward a couple steps back people are afraid of change i say all the time that change is inevitable but growth is optional as the great songwriter bernardo once wrote everything must change change is one thing growth is something else is what america gets forced to stretch and force to grow those growing pains happen and so you end up with obama for eight years and then you look up you know what a donald trump it's in your opinion how big a step back is trump. your honest answer is not a step back it's multiple steps back and we keep taking steps back every day as it were and i'm not sure how far into the stone ages we're going to go before we realize that we've made a huge mistake here and america is on the wrong path i known for thirty five years . i don't known you know this is not the trump i knew was a rockefeller republican
a moderate to liberal republican big support of a lot of democratic candidates what do you make of this the old adage power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely donald trump the more power he sees that he can grab the more power he can in fact seize the more he does that and he's just he's out of control he's i'm trying to think of a metaphor worse than. a bull in a china shop because he's moved so far beyond a bull and it's out of shop. and it would be laughable quite frankly if it weren't so serious which is to say our democracy is at stake this is our democracy that donald trump is is wrecking i got in some trouble you may recall a couple years ago before this race really took off i was on with our friend george stephanopoulos on his show this week on a.b.c. and i made a comment and i was actually surprised at the response that is caught hell from everybody for making this comment oh i said was that i think donald trump is an
unrepentant irascible religious and racial arsonist and unrepentant irascible religious and racial arsonist and i'll be doggone if i had been proved right on every word in that sentence but does he believe like conservatives the george will's. don't believe he's conservative they don't believe he believes what he's saying you know i've never. broke obama was right about this he said before he left office that he did not see donald trump as an eighty a log and i think he's right about that i don't think he is an idiot all he. he believes in monologue listen to me he has no interest in dialogue but he's not a media law and so i think that it's catch as catch can it's what side of the bed he wakes up on in the morning because you can't explain how a guy can have literally two or three positions on the same issue with a forty eight hour stances approval rate kids declining in. but it
doesn't seem like it affects him or goes amiss with you he's playing mean well what it means is he's preaching to the choir he's playing to a particular audience a particular slice of the of the public he knows that that slices and that's why this is you referenced it this this n.f.l. nonsense. i mean that the reason why he did that was because as you recall he was in alabama campaigning for sort of the strange wind up losing the race to roy moore was running against my for in the democratic nominee doug jones who was the u.s. attorney who reopen the case thirty forty years later of those photos of her was killed in the sixteenth street baptist church and he got two convictions in that case i must support is all behind doug jones who has earned that seat in alabama roy moore is is a joke i think of a candidate having said that so truck goes to alabama he's at a red state he's thrown out red meat he's thrown out red meat in a red state and we're a else would you call a bunch of black n.f.l.
players sons of his buddy in alabama at a political rally and a red state and you at the one red meat and the crowd rant went wild in album seventy five hundred people and it wasn't just what donald trump said about his focus on this that is what he say it is how the audience reacted they went wild when donald trump called these players sons of those protests is all about one thing those white officer who's a minority who have killed all or hampered greatly black people in order movie roles and that's what it's about it's about that it's about it's about a much broader point that's what started it's about a much broader capper nick meltdown of course exactly it's about vet what it's about is about a much broader set of issues that speak to the social injustices that still exist in this country so i'm glad you said that's what it is about what it is not about is what donald trump and i'm from indiana as you know mississippi would raise in indiana would school indian university so i know indiana where i know my parents.
he was my governor in india all right so what it's not about is what trump and prince keep making it about i was sick to my stomach for two or three reasons when i saw my parents what is beyond the pale but what pitch the other day was the bush league was the most bush league petty adolescent. a petulant move i've ever seen a vice president make first of all why go to the game if you know you go walk out and that's why you win it was a set up but here's the other part if you're peyton manning who is beloved emitted apis there would tiring this guy's jersey so you go and you rain and i say rain i don't say the p. word you write it on his parade in indianapolis the day he's getting his jersey retired and so the point is you say on the one hand you don't want politics injected in our sport take politics out of sport when you go to a sporting event and inject politics into it by showing up to walk out it's just it's ridiculous roger goodell has sent a letter to n.f.l.
team owners threatening to erode the unifying power of our game that everyone should stand for the anthem but goodell has got a difficult balancing act here has got the n.f.l. players association this is where does he walk well. a fine line and he's not doing very well at the moment so here's the irony a few weeks ago roger goodell goes in on donald trump almost immediately after trump made those statements roger goodell goes in on donald trump three or four weeks passes and now he's basically come around to where trump is he doesn't like the pressure he doesn't like the heat so now he's basically saying what trump wanted in the first place which is stand up so roger goodell has basically done a one eighty he starts out defending the players and a few weeks later because he again sick of the heat he doesn't want to be now you siding with trump so are is roger goodell basically saying that he's conceding to donald trump and i'm a dallas cowboys fan i have been since i was their owners a good friend of mine he said if you sit down you won't play and he i can call him
a good friend very nice to me give me some very nice fifty yards seats seats fifty yard line so he's been very kind to me and i mean i get a ticket after saying this but i lost some respect for jerry jones the other day because again a few weeks ago with his team he takes at me then he stands up and he locks arms and then two weeks. now you tell me if you take a knee i'm going to binge you you know what i would do every black player on my team the dallas cowboys ought to take a knee when they next play every one of them because of jerry jones as argument is i'm going to bench you if you're taking me if all of them negroes take me at one time. mr jones you ain't got a team jerry jones loads of money way too much you can bench a whole team a negro you think what you going to do you think he was playing to dallas he's playing to dallas he's playing to the state of texas and quite frankly i don't know what conversations he and goodell have had but everybody knows that jerry jones is one of the most highly regarded you know respected by some owners in the league but
to threaten i mean one minute we're talking about respecting their right to free speech and the next minute we're telling them if you do that we're going to bench you this is this is. as a. as a black american you know what is the flag and the anthem mean to you. is that the land of the free in the home of the brave i am a proud african-american number one number two my father served in the military for thirty seven years in this country so i have nothing but but respect for my father and every other man or woman who has ever wherever will serve in our armed forces number two number three i have great respect for our flag and for our sovereignty but i do not believe that america. is extra special just because we're america this notion of american exceptionalism bothers me we are a great country in many respects but we've other ways grown older but not wiser
we've grown older but we haven't grown up and we keep fighting these same battles so i love my country but i believe larry that a true patriot does not excuse the sins of its country you have to push your country into greatness and that's what lincoln and so many others about forefathers did they pushed this country into greatness we're not there yet and so there are going to be moments in times when we have to push america into its greatness so i don't ever put i'm not just a black american i'm also a christian i mean come on to proselytize but i never put the flag above the cross the flag does not belong above the cross for me and so finally with regard to the national anthem it's hard for me to celebrate a song that was written by a guy francis scott key who owned slaves number one he didn't just own slaves but he was an attorney and he used his good offices to help his other white friends who slave a skate to be brought back into captivity used his losses to go help capture
people who had gotten to freedom and brought them back into slavery and then when you listen to the words of the national anthem there could not be a more militaristic anthem stanza two and the rocket's red glare the bombs bursting in air i celebrate my country but that ain't the best of america that's not what i said about some of it about america so if it were america the beautiful if we have some if we have some woody guthrie. i can go with that as well and i can go with that larry king but this anthem has some issues. sure does america the beautiful day at the washington when the washington bullets will than the bullets in their own are only played america the beautiful you know why do we play the national anthem it's ritual this ritual and i think what happens in this country is that sometimes people have a hard time letting go of ritual and if you believe that you're losing the hold of
what you think or thought america was if you believe that it's time to make america great again you tend to be a ritualised or a traditionalist and you don't want to let go of those things no matter how to have no matter how outdated they might be before we go to break what do you make of the corporate problem thing not much corkers now sounding off he's saying the things that other republicans wish they could say and probably think and faith but he's saying it because he decided not to run for reelection again so it's amazing and he's he is the fascinating point where you go to break the fascinating point is i get asked all the time would you ever consider would you consider running for office i'm too i'm too free a black man and i strive to hard to be a truth teller to ever be in elective office that's not to demean those who are there we need good public officials good public servants the problem is that you are so handicapped when it comes to speaking the truth too many politicians don't have the courage to say what they see look what happens the minute you announce you're not running for reelection oh my god bob kolker tell the truth coming and
going because he's not bound by the money and by the politics that all of sudden he's a he's a truth teller stay right there i'm all politicking with tavis smiley right after the break. about your sudden passing i've only just learnt you worry yourself and taken your last turn. up to you as we all knew it would i tell you i'm sorry i could so i write these last words in hopes to put to rest these things that i never got off my chest. i remember when we first met my life turned on each breath. but then my feelings started to change you talked about war like it was again still some are fond of you those that didn't like to question our ark and i secretly promised to never again like it said one does not leave a funeral the same as one enters the mind it's consumed with death this one quite
different i speak to you now because there are no other takers. to claim that mainstream media has met its maker. i'm gonna do just that and you're watching all of you live swashing. i'm a trial lawyer i've spent countless hours poring through documents that tell the story about the abuse article from. corporate media written uses to talk about the current partners but i'm not a pretty clear picture about how disturbing how cold blood corporate conduct has become a mob these are stories that no one else has until a marker or a post of the american or western. one
year to the day before he'd be assassinated in memphis april for nine hundred sixty eight dr martin luther king jr reiterated in the strongest terms his commitment to non. while it's. decided that on this question of nonviolence i'm going to stand by it i've taken to. martin luther king take the not to be my wedded wife. worse for richer or for poorer in sickness and in health unto death. do us part. that's from your book death of the king and you touring next year fifty cities doing that with the musical accompaniment in film. how did this come about next year as you mentioned fifty years since king's assassination and i wrote the book couple years ago so j.j. abrams our friend j.j. abrams and i are producing as a film with warner brothers but that won't be out until later in twenty eighteen
the anniversary again april for next year and so the idea just came to me one day that we should take this book and turn it into a sort of a one man show with some musical accompaniment and. let people understand him in a stage on a stage in a theater setting what the last you have his life was like and people most people don't know what the last year of his life was like we get stuck in one thousand nine hundred sixty three at the march on washington he's moment i have a dream he's dead at thirty nine far too young but he does live five years after the march on washington in the last year of his life is anything but what you believe because he comes out against the war in vietnam he gets disinvited by o.b.j. to the white house he's not welcome to preach in black churches they won't run his newspapers he's having trouble getting a book published he can't raise money he's fallen off the list of the most admired americans black folk have turned against him white folk have turned against him he
dies broke and harry belafonte has to pay for his funeral and you tell the average american that's how king's life ended they don't get that it was not to twenty years after he died that we started to rethink the current. the conviction the commitment the character that he really embodied not to king's point he never did as he saw all this controversy and all the push back on him and never stopped him from to a new truth so he never backs up when all these hail is coming at him he keeps moving forward he keeps telling the truth he's talking about the triple threat facing our country racism poverty and militarism but here on the fifth anniversary of his death it's about time that america get to see the fullness of king's humanity the complexity of humanity and that's what this book death of the king and the stage presentation will do and how do people find out when they're in this city death of a cave tour dot com death of a king to a dot com we just announced the tour the tour dates the cities the on sale date for tickets will be announced i think november the first so why the cities are lining up it's going to be
a long four months for me but i'm really excited i get on the road we don't often do this on. politicking we have some social media question for you i believe chavez is on twitter have you watched the movie thirteenth by ava du vernay the director of selma and what are your thoughts on the mass incarceration of african-americans we did a masterful job on that feel not so she won the emmy for it a few few weeks back so she deserves that wonderful wonderful project and she just put a spotlight on something that many of us have been talking about for years. we cannot in prison our way out of the mess this country is in the good news was before trump took office that there seemed to be one issue in washington on which republicans and democrats agreed for different reasons but they agreed that something had to be done about the prison industrial complex democrats want to do something about it led by cory booker of new jersey and others because it's just unjust republicans fatah decided it was spending too much money on prisons and it's not good for budgets so two different reasons but they came together and there was
a real strong push for some meaningful prison reform yet cory booker on the left of colin rand paul the koch wrote that koch brothers are behind that as well rand paul on the right coming together since trump has taken office everything is kind of fallen flat in washington but it is an issue on which many americans are starting to agree that we cannot once again in prison our way out of whatever bothers an ails our country i'm a go to on twitter who's your bet on who in the democratic nomination and twenty twenty way too early too early what i know is this you can't beat somebody with nobody the democrats are going to have to put up the right candidate and i are for want at this point i have to admit it i am not convinced that donald trump can not win a second term it all depends on who the democrats put up despite appealing to a small this is despite all of that despite all that he beat hillary but the democrats have to deal with a primary they don't publicly and someone will challenge struggle but he probably
will. democrats are so it's not a back room anymore to. back room did better that's right back here where it media reports that relate to the yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah the i think she's going to challenge i think i think that will happen. i just don't i don't it's still mind boggling to many of us that hillary lost in this last election so i guess i learned my lesson i'm not i'm not falling for the banana in the tailpipe when most social media and i go to rules on facebook first question you'd ask trump if you could interview him but they will know. i don't know what go after that would mean it was the it would start with those three words are you. promise now signaled interest in working with the democrats when you make of that. it's. it's convenient for him for a lot of reasons number one number two it annoys his own party he seems to like to do that. number three it always he is from new york and has to trump that you know
and so i think on some issues he sees he can pull the line back low to the left. and is my grandmother would say even a broken clock is right twice a day so he can't be wrong about everything sometimes he'll have to agree with democrats i think to get something done so he had he has good sense every now and again and i guess the point is the question is rather is it just posturing is it just posturing or something really going to happen then at the moment it just feels like posturing to me he's see his strength seems to come of even the left would agree with this from the generals close to him you know when he listens to them and he listens to them it's an embarrassment i mean don't you i mean i don't even know rex tillerson and i was a huge fan before he took over not a huge fan now but if you're going to give someone the position and give them the job let them do their job i'm not telling you how to run his talk show if i agree to come on the show i'm going to subject myself to the questions you want to ask me
how do you give a guy a job to be the secretary of state and you undercut this guy and pull the rug money you can pick your metaphor every day you embarrassing this guy and so it's not just an embarrassment to him and to the others around trump who he does this to all the time what worries me more than their feelings being hurt about being embarrassed by their boss is what the world thinks of us like when somebody when someone of authority or so-called authority from america speaks larry who do you listen to can you would you trust that to listen to what he says is real can you trust what maddest says can you i mean who do you trust when you know that trump the next morning is going tweet something that's one hundred eight degrees from what they say and i just don't think that gives us a strong standing in the world when the world doesn't know who to believe how much do you fear. the worst of all fears a nuclear war i still believe but you're funny you should ask that question because i was thinking about this the other day i went to india university on the debate
team at indiana university and every year when i was in college we have a different theme is that you know you're going to defend exactly so you take the defeat take the affirmative in some rounds the negative in other rounds when you debate this topic for the entire school year and then you have the national championship at the end of the year so one year we debated this question about about nuclear war or nuclear annihilation and i became convinced even as a student at indiana and i'm still convinced i think now that people can be stuck on stupid to a certain extent but everybody knows the minute you drop one bomb the other guy's going to drop one on you and i want to believe that this notion of mutual annihilation is not something that anybody wants you mentioned dr king earlier in king said it's in their nonviolent coexistence of violent color nial ation that was the choice fifty years ago and that's to the choice today so the question of us stupidity it would take
a maniac to drop the first one and we happened to be looking into maniacs one in kim jong and the other with another in the guy in the oval office and so that's the part that scary it would it would take too many acts to blow us all up but that's what we dealing with is that you just hope and pray that again the fear and the reality of them knowing they'd wipe out the whole universe will keep them from doing that that the fear is if the conjunction started if we blow him up in a day oh a day like in five minutes but he would take out south korea. then what then you have then everybody is involved. that's what happens i mean it's it's it's not something i want to stamp my thinking about but this is why and this is the part that troubles me and there are some of us who were saying this when this election happened in november this is why this election is so important it's not just about personalities and god knows i've had my issues with hillary clinton a lack of she's a friend but we don't agree on everything but at the end of the day is this the guy
who you want to have the codes and people raise that issue you know the supreme court was important to so many issues that we talked about but at the end of the day this is what we were saying is this the guy who you want to have his finger on the button and here we are now in this what we did with what do you think and i would be a very educated guess i interviewed him you have worshiped him. who martin luther king would be saying today and that's why i worship you for having given to you i hate you larry king you're here to you know i didn't. say it just what i said a moment ago that it's either nonviolent coexistence those are his words or violent cohen i'll ation you to be still talking about what he was talking about van the triple threat facing this democracy now get this fifty years ago king is saying everywhere he goes nobody wants to hearing he's no longer popular now he's toxic he's persona non-grata but he keeps preaching the same message that if we don't get serious about racism poverty and militarism we're going to lose our democracy fast
forward fifty years what are we still threatened by racism poverty and militarism king was not a politician he was a prophet and all how prophetic he was five five decades ago with regard to where we are today so again things have changed things have gotten better in so many respects but this democracy is in trouble i don't know if it's our our narcissism our arrogance our hubris our patriotism this morphed into nationalism for whatever reason larry we can't even consider because we're so arrogant that america might be on the brink. we might be on the precipice of failing margaret of history suggests to me that there is no in power in the history of the world that is some point did not have it's come up and every empire falters every imparted some point fails every one of the history of the world and so we might want to give some consideration to the fact that the american empire. could go. the tour you want
information to go with death of a king to war dot com gerri fifteenth until now i haven't ever been asked this anywhere guess what we're starting. in your hometown new york new york city thank you for being. and thank you for joining me on this edition of politicking remember you can join the conversation on my facebook page or tweet me have changed things and don't forget use the politicking hash tag and that's all for this edition of politic. about your sudden passing i've only just learnt you worry yourself and taken your last wrong turn. your act caught up to you as we all knew it would i tell you i'm sorry i could so i write these last words in hopes to put to rest these things that i never got off my chest. i remember when we first met my life turned on each spring.
but then my feeling started to change you talked about more like it was again still some more fun to feel those that didn't like to question our arc and i secretly promised to never be like it said one does not leave a funeral in the same as one enters mind gets consumed with this one different. speech as there are no other takers. to claim that mainstream media has met its maker. mark twain said it's easier to fool people than to print. because people have been. paid for by corporate interests. well here's a story it's called big and it's full of. washington